Overseas Expansion


[Insights] In-Depth Analysis of TSMC, PSMC, and UMC’s Latest Overseas Expansion Strategies

Against the backdrop of geopolitical influences, the concentration of advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes in Taiwan has raised concerns among international companies. According to TrendForce data, as of the end of 2024, over 70% of global advanced process manufacturing capacity is still located in Taiwan.

Governments worldwide have responded by offering generous subsidy policies to attract semiconductor foundries to establish plants locally. The dynamics of Taiwan’s semiconductor fabs in the global setting and changes in the global production landscape have become a focal point of industry attention.

Per TrendForce’s data, when considering the equivalent 12-inch wafer production capacity, in 2023, Taiwan held a global share of approximately 47%, followed by China at 26%, South Korea at 12%, the United States at 6%, Singapore at 4%, Japan at 2%, Germany at 1%, and others at 2%. By 2027, the distribution is expected to shift, with Taiwan’s share decreasing to 42%, China increasing to 28%, South Korea at 10%, the United States at 7%, Singapore at 6%, Japan at 3%, Germany at 2%, and others at 1%.

Examining recent developments in the overseas expansion of Taiwan’s semiconductor foundries, Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC) has officially announced the establishment of its first 12-inch fab, JSMC, in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. According to TrendForce’s research, the plant is planned to have a total capacity of around 40Kwspm, starting with a 40nm node and gradually transitioning to 28nm, primarily serving domestic clients in Japan while seeking subsidies and tax incentives for semiconductor.

JSMC’s construction is scheduled to commence in 2024, with full-scale production expected by 2027. With the establishment of PSMC’s overseas fab, TrendForce estimates that PSMC’s overseas production capacity will grow from 0% in 2023 to 9% in 2027.

The progress of TSMC’s second fab in Kumamoto, Japan, has garnered significant industry attention recently. On another note, The German cartel office has approved Bosch, NXP, and Infineon’s investment in TSMC’s German fab, ESMC. Each company will acquire a 10% stake, while TSMC will retain substantial control with over 50% ownership.

According to TrendForce’s research, ESMC’s total planned capacity is around 40Kwspm, focusing on 28/22nm and 16/12nm processes, with construction expected to start in the second half of 2024 and mass production in 2027. TrendForce predicts that TSMC’s overseas production capacity will increase from 9% in 2023 to 15% in 2027.

As for UMC, TrendForce’s research indicates that the overseas production capacity is projected to increase from 42% in 2023 to approximately 47% by 2027. Additionally, UMC’s Fab12i in Singapore has a production capacity of approximately 60Kwspm, with plans for manufacturing processes ranging from 55/40nm to 28/22nm. Moreover, UMC’s Fab12M in Japan is expanding its capacity by around 10Kwspm in collaboration with Denso.

Regarding Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS), it was previously reported by Nikkei that VIS plans to construct its first 12-inch wafer fab in Singapore, primarily focusing on the demand for automotive chips. However, VIS has not yet officially announced any related developments. According to TrendForce’s research, if VIS does not have new plans for investment in a 12-inch fab, its estimated spending required for the operation of various fabs in 2024 is approximately $94 million, representing a nearly 70% decrease compared to previous years.

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